Legends On Deck

International League Player of the Week: OF Willy Garcia – White Sox

Well it hasn’t been officially a week yet of the minor league baseball season, but sometimes players do things that are hard not to notice.  I suppose after the kind of start the Charlotte Knights are off to in 2017, it could have been a number of players with this distinction.  After a 4-0 start in which they scored a combined 39 runs, the Legends on Deck International League Player of the Week is outfielder Willy Garcia of the Knights.

Garcia has played in and recorded a hit in all of Charlotte’s four games so far.  He has video game type numbers to start the season.  Garcia is hitting .533 (8-for-15) with nine runs scored, a double, two home runs, and four driven in.  He has also walked six times and has a total hitting line of .533/.667/1.000/1.667.  Garcia isn’t expected to keep up these kind of numbers, and the Knights aren’t also expected to keep scoring as many as they have, but the Chicago White Sox have to feel pretty excited about this start.

Originally signing out of the Dominican Republic with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2010, Garcia made his way to the windy city off waivers this past January.  The 24-year old is in his eighth season of professional baseball and holds with him a .259 career batting average.  His career high in home runs has come twice (18) in 2012 (Single-A West Virginia) and in 2014 (Double-A Altoona), and he is certainly on a pace now to break it.  Garcia was one of the Pirates top prospects for a few years running and also garnered attention around the different leagues he’s been in by being voted best outfield arm (2012) and best all around tools (2014).  If his career continues on the path that it has, the White Sox may have found a diamond in the rough.

There were certainly other possibilities for the Player of the Week award including several of Garcia’s teammates.  Yoan Moncada was off to a hot start but cooled down on Sunday as well as Danny Hayes.  Patrick Leonard of the Durham Bulls had a nice week (8-for-19, HR, 6 RBI) so did Nellie Rodriguez of the Columbus Clippers and Ben Paulsen of the Rochester Red Wings who each hit three bombs over the weekend.

On the pitching side of things, Chad Bell of the Toledo Mud Hens and Rob Wooten of the Louisville Bats each struck out 10 in their starts.  Wilkes-Barre/Scranton pitcher Giovanny Gallegos made two+ inning appearance and fanned 6.

Obviously there will be some that were forgotten to be mentioned, but all in all it was a great start to the 2017 International League season.

John has recently graduated from the University at Albany with a B.A. in History and is currently finishing his Master's Degree there as well in secondary education. After being away from school for over two decades he decided to go back and work towards his dream of becoming a social studies teacher.

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